So Michael Lee reported that the Wizards have finalized the buyout on Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Ilgauskas will reportedly leave $1.5 million on the table, which is significant because he's only owed another $3.5 million the rest of the way. Lee has more about how much money this saved (I just hope we use it to sign guys cheaply to fill out the roster while also avoiding the luxury tax instead of pocketing it).
There's been a lot written and said about this whole situation. A lot of you guys are annoyed Z never suited up for us, and feel like the whole arrangement of him going back to Cleveland is a farce. Others around the league, like my man Kelly Dwyer, don't get the angst, because every party gets what they want.
Me? I don't really care.
Sorry to say it, but Z's so far removed from everything the current edition of the Wizards is. He's older, slower and in desperate need of a ring after so many tough years of service. Our guys are younger, hungrier and looking to make a name for themselves. He needs to play in a half-court system; we need to play up-tempo. He needs to be insurance for a 38-year old man; we don't need insurance for our twenty-something thoroughbred young bigs.
So really, I just don't see the point of worrying about Z. I'm not insulted that he doesn't want to be here, because why should he? We don't need him either, so what's the big deal? Let him go back to Cleveland, for all I care. It's as if he was never ours to me.
Now, does the rule allowing players to return to their teams after being traded in the same season need to be changed at some point? Yeah, absolutely. You can't on the one hand preach that the NBA is a business and on the other allow players to return to their old team just by throwing a fit and refusing to show up. But the time to change it is during the next CBA, when everyone understands they're operating under a different set of rules. Not now, when it means letting Doc Rivers, a guy who benefited from the rule in 2005 when he got Gary Payton back on his team, win.
Bottom line: the Wizards don't need to be martyrs, and neither do we. Let Z go quietly, let him do whatever he wants, and focus on improving (and rooting for) the mix of players who do actually want to be here.